Skip to main content

Full text of "History And Human Relation"

See other formats


HISTORY    AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

and the whole character of their historical universe
would be radically changed and would cease to be so
serviceable for their polemical purposes. Their theory
is one which serves them precisely in its abuse,

If Marxist history, - somewhat aggressively and with
polemical side-purposes,  goes   somewhat  beyond the
rules, we must remember, however, that the great bulk
of the historical writing which is produced in the world
may always be accused of doing the very same thing.
It is our natural tendency to compare Marxist history as
it exists in actuality with our own history as we hold it
in ideal—to compare it in fact with die most rarefied
realm of "academic history", without remembering
the limited range and vogue of this latter.    Our tradi-
tional English modes of interpretation—including the
Whiggish one—as they were developing in the seven-
teenth century give evidence of what, mutatis mutandis^
are crudities very similar to those which the Marxist
one possesses at the present time in what we must still
regard as its youth.   It took centuries to refine the
crudities out of the English tradition, but here and there
we see evidence that the Marxist system is capable of
similar refinement and similar elasticity—capable in its
higher reaches of issuing in research of an academic
character.   If there is deceit, prejudice and self-delusion
in Soviet historical-writing, these things are not organic
to the Marxian method as such, and it might rather be
true to say that they are organic to all historical work
that has one eye on the support of a government, or the
flattery of a regime, or the praise of one's country or the
service of the State.   Sometimes it is we who are blind

98